Button 'could be' champ

Jenson Button is good enough to become Britain's next Formula 1 world champion, but, according to grand prix legend Stirling Moss, he will need a technical advantage over Michael Schumacher and Ferrari if he is to be successful next year

Button 'could be' champ

Speaking exclusively to autosport.com about the prospects of Button, who enjoyed his best ever season in F1 during 2004, Moss admitted that the BAR ace was now coming of age and has all the talent needed to eventually win the title - but admitted it may still be too early to expect such a feat next year.

"Jenson has got a good following because he is English and he is doing very well - and I think he is our only real hope of getting the world championship in the near future," said Moss. "But I don't think he will do it yet.

"I think he could, in a period of time, be good enough to do it - and he is not far off now. But he has got to at least have something as good as Michael Schumacher's car to be able to do it - and we cannot assume that BAR can do that yet."

Moss admits that the growing wave of public support for Button, which included him being voted as International Racing Driver of the Year at this month's Autosport Awards, will help lift the driver.

But he draws short of believing that it will help the British ace to greater results on the track - even if it does prove beneficial for F1 as a whole.

"Unfortunately the public are not driving," he said. "They are good people, but they don't get in the car and put the foot down when you need it.

"If we get a good national hero then it is good for the sport. We do need to have a name to focus on and I think Jenson is a good one."

Moss does have one major criticism of Button however, relating to the way in which the Briton's on-off switch to Williams was handled. In particular, Moss believes that Button could have treated then boss David Richards in a much better way - especially considering the way the former BAR chief showed faith in the driver during 2002 when he was dropped by Renault.

"I don't like the way he treated David - it was very, very poor," explained Moss. "It surprised me because I like Jenson, he is a nice boy, but I think he was very ill advised.

"I really think David Richards did a lot for him when he was down there - so that was bad."

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